Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
This morning saw a crash involving a couple of vehicles on the west end of the Poplar at the ramp to get onto 55/44. I've been monitoring this crash because Dale has to get back to St. Louis from Collinsville early this morning. This is a story which repeats itself often and just as often involves a semi trying to make that steep curve exiting the Poplar onto 55/44. And today is no different. A semi and a car and a traffic jam heading west from Illinois backed up to who knows where right now.
I had to take that exit last week, but in mid-afternoon and it is really a sharp curve which requires a big slow down and very careful steering. Not only that but there is still some sort of construction going on which requires a lot of traffic cones to manuver around on that exit. So many semi drivers do not exercise the caution needed to get those huge trucks through. It's amazing how fast they drive the Poplar after getting through the 55/64 merge and then come suddenly upon that curve.
And now, today, commuters from Illinois are sitting and sitting. Just now at 6:35 I read that the semi has finally been removed but it will take a while to get traffic moving.
Last weekend downtown St. Louis was the site of Paint St. Louis 2016 in which graffiti artists from all over the country and other parts of the world were invited to come and do actual art on the south riverfront flood wall. To get to the spot, KMOX's Debbie Monterrey advised to take Chouteau east until you couldn't drive anymore and you're there. Go south and see miles of art on the flood wall. To the north is the newly refurbished riverwalk.
Some examples of "real" art done by these artists last week are interesting and certainly much different than the commonly seen vandalism graffiti. The website for this event has not been updated for the results of this year, but maybe someone will get to it so the art can be seen online.
I went over to Forest Park's Art Hill this morning to see the almost 7000 flags commemorating each military person who lost his/her life on the War on Terror after 9-11-01. It's an indelible sight. There was a light breeze which gently lifted the flags at different moments and caused the dog tags affixed to each pole to jingle across the expanse of flags.
Sunday we went to the Greek Fest which is on Forest Park Boulevard near Barnes Hospital. During those 3 days, the Fest goers are allowed to use the parking garage next to the church which is a great perk. You enter the garage from Laclede and you leave onto Laclede. When we left we were stopped at a red light at Laclede and Kingshighway. There were cars behind us and we waited for some time because this was a long red light. In my rear view mirror I noticed the suv behind us and as we were first in line, I kept my eye on the red light.
All of a sudden my truck was banged from behind and we wobbled. What the heck just happened we wondered. I checked the car behind us but it had not moved. What the heck? Then we saw a man in full cycling regalia hunched over in pain, holding his arm close to his chest and he stumbled to the building next to the street and fell down. We still did not know what had happened until the light turned green and we started to move. The cyclist had gotten up fast and ran to pick up and carry his bike from behind my truck to the sidewalk. So somehow he slammed into a non moving vehicle.
How did that happen? And why was he riding and cutting between cars anyway? As we got to another red light on Kingshighway, we talked to the people in the car which had been behind us originally. They said the cycle guy just rode right into the back of my truck, fell down and etc etc.
This is crazy biking, frankly. And I now have a deep slash on the middle of my tailgate which we have to have fixed or it will begin to rust out. He was obviously a serious bike person and should know better, but, many cyclists don't seem to know better either.
i was looking over my Twitter feed just now and saw KMOX's traffic copter reporter Rodger Brand's report of a crash on westbound 55/70 at the 64 split. My first reaction was how tricky that area is at any time of day what with lanes coming from several directions. Then I thought, "I'll bet a semi is involved." Sure enough, 3 minutes later I saw copter video of the crash area on Fox2 and there was an over turned semi.
While driving that section several times a week, I always see the big trucks roaring along as they approach that area, often sliding abruptly from lane to lane without slowing down.
If you can't find something to do in St. Louis this Labor Day weekend you aren't trying. There's the Blues Fest on the riverfront, the Japanese Festival in the Missouri Botanical Garden, an art fair in Queeny Park, a Latin Music Festival in Ballpark Village, The Gateway Cup bike race through all sorts of St. Louis neighborhoods, a Labor Day parade downtown on Monday and the famous Greek Fest from Saturday through Monday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church in the Central West End.
We always go to the Greek Fest on the Sunday afternoon, great food and huge crowds, lots of music and the uniquely Greek wine. I have pictures from the Greek fest going back many years and came across this picture of the now ten year old Christian when he was about 18 months old.
On one day of orientation week here at the seminary, all the incoming new students are sent out to various St. Louis community gardens to help trim, weed, and otherwise clean them up. This is a service day and although it usually turns out to be sweaty/dirty work, it is a great experience for our students. They not only help in areas of the city which are often neglected, they also meet many local people they otherwise would never have had contact with. Yesterday was the day we sent them to 14 different locations.
Here's a photo of the whole group which includes Ferdie, just for fun.
Dale always goes with one group and yesterday they ended up at the Southside Wellness Garden which is on Park Avenue east of Cardinal Glennon on Grand and west of Jefferson.
Many of these community gardens are created with good intentions but after a time local people grow weary of the need for continual attention and things deteriorate, like this bench. Several benches are in various states of collapse here and we would have attempted a fix if we'd known and had the tools. But after several hours this place and the others at least looked more presentable.
5 years ago a St. Louis man, Rick Randall, with the help of a few hundred of his friends and acquaintances, placed flags in Forest Park for each person who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The sea of almost 3000 flags on Art Hill was a breath taking sight. This year, on the 15th anniversary of 9-11, an organization called America's Heartland Remembers will fill Art Hill with almost 7000 flags, one for each military person who died fighting the war on terror since then. The flags will be in place from September 6-11 and each will have a name. I can only imagine what this will look like.
Here is a photo from the tenth anniversary flags in Forest Park.
Yesterday afternoon Christian's 5th grade soccer team had a game at Francis R. Slay Park just off McCausland. It was very hot, temperatures hitting 96 officially, but higher in that hot sun. This particular park is named after the current mayor's father and is a space squeezed into an industrial area of sorts. I pass this place a lot and have often wondered who used it and how it came that such an odd spot was named for a Slay.
Anyway, the game went on as did games before and after Christian's. It seemed more like a beach without a lake what with all the umbrellas used to keep the heat off.
Here's Christian. At one point he got hit in the face by a kicked ball and that hurt.
Surrounding this park and behind the playground are huge orange steel things which must have something to do with power maybe? Behind them is a huge electrical tower. Very odd.
On the other side of the field is a roadway trestle, an old trestle.